Southern Illinois is the place to be this August as we anticipate a total solar eclipse, with center stage located over the state's first capital, Kaskaskia. Will two minutes and forty seconds of darkened skies start crickets chirping and bring out the fireflies? We'll just have to wait and see and hope for a cloudless day for the people planning to check out the path of totality. And we'll also have to wait and see whether our great state can come to terms with its budgetary woes and see brighter days ahead.
Welcome to Kristan McKinsey, Director of the Illinois Women Artists Project, as she picks up the excellent editorial work of the late Channy Lyons. Our friends at Illinois Humanities are forging ahead with plans for the upcoming state bicentennial and we can travel with Stephen Leonard and Keith Sculle on their road trip of discovery along the east-west Route 36 across Illinois.
Despite the quagmires of government, the quicksand of politics, and the mosquitoes of summer, Illinois is a glorious place to call home.
With this issue of the Heritage, we welcome our new President Leah Axelrod to the helm. Leah has been a member for 20+ years and she is the fifth woman to serve as ISHS President since 1899. Thanks are due to Randall Saxon as he steps down to take life a little easier, if that is possible for a gardener.
Readers of this issue will enjoy a little bit of everything, from John Hallwas's look at the life of naturalist Donald Culross Peattie to Michael Sublett's look at a proposed 103rd Illinois county, named for wildlife painter John James Audubon. We are also pleased to share Verna Ross Orndorff scholarship winner Anna Sielaff's essay on Lincoln's Gettysburg Address.
Thanks to our Society members for keeping the lantern burning and the rivers gently flowing! Share your Heritage!